Rachel McAdams The Notebook
The Only Thing That Holds Up About ‘The Notebook’ Is the Accessories
09.18.19

I don’t think I’m going out on a limb when I say that The Notebook has aged like a bag of Franzia. My middle-school self may have sobbed through the whole film and categorized Noah and Allie’s relationship as a can’t-eat-can’t-sleep-reach-for-the-stars-over-the-fence-world-series kind of romance, but today I recognize their dynamic for what it is: deeply, emotionally manipulative. And yet, despite my updated realization that the relationship norms of The Notebook don’t exactly hold up, I remain besotted as ever with one particular aspect of the film: the accessories.

The Notebook Movie Still
If you’re a bird I’m a bird and if you want to wear a flower-accented headpiece in the ocean I’m here to support that.

I realize that might sound hyperspecific, but hear me out. While Allie’s overall 1940s-era wardrobe has received its fair share of praise and approximation, her ability to accessorize an outfit as sharp as the tips of her father’s mustache deserves far more credit. It is, in my opinion, the under-the-radar reason her style is so compelling to this day–proof of the timeless triumph that occurs whenever accessories really do “make” an outfit. As someone with a keen interest in vintage fashion, I was thrilled to discover that Etsy is a hotbed of Allie accessory equivalents. If you, like me, want to follow in her well-decorated footsteps, scroll below for some shopping ideas.


1. The hat to wear when fetching the paper from your local bodega

The paperboy hat that Allie and Noah seem to share is just the quickfix I need for mornings when my desire to pick up a chai tea outweighs my desire to shampoo my hair before work. Its forest green tweed fabric perfectly complements the mustard collared dress Allie wears while riding precariously atop Noah’s handlebars, so be forewarned that purchasing one in 2019 might be the gateway drug to similar items, i.e. a shopping cart full of horned-rim tortoise shell glasses plaid overcoats. I’m not complaining. And like I said, Etsy is chock-full of tweed cap starter pack materials, like this one that’s made to order (so it can fit your specific head size!), and this bucket hat version for a more modern twist.

2. The gloves that will protect you from subway pole germs

When Allie clacks into the office of kindhearted Lon (#TeamLon) to tell him she’s skipping town for a bit, her Pepto Bismol suit is a loud look made louder by the color coordination of her accoutrement: a red hat, red buttons, red pockets, red earrings, red shoes, red lipstick, and red gloves (she also changes into a brown version of this get-up later). I identify with the fact that “effortless” is not a concept Allie seems to be familiar with and look forward to saving money on Purell while wearing gloves of my own on public transit this autumn because I CAN’T GET THIS LOOK OUT OF MY HEAD. Apologies for shouting. Allow me to soothe you with these $32 soft leather gloves, which I would absofriutly would wear with a pink suit. Oooh, and these are only $24 and lined with cozy fabric!

3. The going-out accessory you never knew you needed

The Notebook Movie Still
Unfortunately I couldn’t find any shoppable links for Rachael McAdams’ dimple.

Allie’s white floral hair apparatus in the scene when Lon pops the question–a mere ten feet away from her swing dancing parents–is the cherry on the vanilla sundae. After my teenage tendency to Lana-Del-Rey my adolescent moodiness by wearing gauche flower crowns to school dances, I thought I was finished with sticking greenery on my head, but Allie has convinced me that flowers aren’t just for music festivals and weddings. In moderation, they might actually be the going-out accessory I never knew I needed. I’m eyeing this orchid hairpin, which sells for $3.25, but this one is the closest replica of Allie’s.

4. The in-between seasons hat

After rediscovering photos of my staple seventh grade outfit (a silver-buckled pink fedora worn with my school uniform), I swore I would never return to my “statement hat” phase. However, lately my saved Instagram folder has been populated with head toppers of this precise variety—so I must be backsliding, and I’m pretty sure Allie’s aforementioned wide-brim red felt hat can take credit for that. This one is semi-tempting me to relocate to a ranch, while this one is conjuring fantasies about tweed blazers and apple picking.

5. The outer layer you can fit in your commuter bag

I’m convinced that Hillary Clinton has taken style cues from Allie’s twilight years. (I submit Allie’s classy, red wool suit and shining curled lob as evidence.) I’m also convinced that, with reading glasses perched atop her head, Noah on her arm, and a timeless pashmina shawl tied gently around her shoulders, Allie has really hit her accessorizing stride by the time this season of her life rolls around. The pashmina in particular hits all the marks of a stellar accessory: it’s essentially a blanket, it fits in a purse, and it will absorb your tears as you sob through The Notebook’s “I’ll Be Seeing You” closing credits. This one has some fun fringe, and this one is $15 and reversible. Oh and this one is elegant enough for an overly air-conditioned ballet venue.

Drop your favorite style moments and/or contentions with The Notebook below. I’ll be there to laugh and commiserate.

Images via Everett Collection.

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